San Miguel de Manila Walking Tour: 7 DECEMBER 2013

Photo by JAMES MAGALONG: my first tour of San Miguel de Manila last year with the HCS-Y and friends

Photo by JAMES MAGALONG: my first tour of San Miguel de Manila last year with the HCS-Y and friends

For over a year now, I have specialized in facilitating tours around a once-fabled arrabal of Manila, San Miguel de Manila.

San Miguel Pro Cathedral named after the Patron of the district

San Miguel Pro Cathedral named after the Patron of the district

The year has been great for these tours. I cannot count anymore the number of times, groups and individuals I guided around San Miguel. And boy, these have been very mixed groups. The very first group was a group of 30+ participants from the Heritage Conservation Society – Youth while the last one was a group of three. I’ve toured locals and foreigners alike, high school classmates, relatives of friends and friends of friends abroad! There are so many things one can see in such a small area, all within walking distance. All the participants are amazed by the remarkable difference of San Miguel from the rest of downtown Manila, which is often experienced horrendously. The pungent smell, the sight of garbage and the fear of crowds are almost never experienced in San Miguel.

Modesty aside, yours truly also provides a holistic view of Philippine heritage through this tour. No Church bashing and no political flag-waving. What you will hear from me are some comments on Philippine art styles, culinary traditions (and techniques too, hehe as I also love to cook), the influence of the Catholic Church on our lives, architecture, values and behaviors and also pre-war Manila lifestyles. This won’t simply be a tour of taking pictures, memorized dates and names and saying if a structure is neo-classical, neo-gothic or art deco.

San Sebastian Minor Basilica, the only all-steel and first pre-fabricated church in Asia, is found nearby

San Sebastian Minor Basilica, the only all-steel and first pre-fabricated church in Asia, is found nearby

Paintings adore the all-steel church now threatened by rusting and corrosion

Paintings adore the all-steel church now threatened by rusting and corrosion

Group photo in front of the main retablo of San Beda Abbey Church dedicated to the Holy Infant of Prague and to the "la morenata", our Lady of Montserrat

Group photo in front of the main retablo of San Beda Abbey Church dedicated to the Holy Infant of Prague and to the “la morenata”, our Lady of Montserrat

HCS-Y group pic in front of Casa Roces' iconic door

HCS-Y group pic in front of Casa Roces’ iconic door

An Ateneo Spanish class' pic in front of Casa Roces

An Ateneo Spanish class’ pic in front of Casa Roces

Participants in a small tour of the area in front of Casa Roces

Participants in a small tour of the area in front of Casa Roces

The Goldenberg Mansion

The Goldenberg Mansion

In San Miguel, one can visit at least three churches! If one includes San Sebastian, which is an architectural gem in the Philippines, that makes 4. You can also see pre-war mansions albeit from the outside. However, the conclusion in La Cocina always brings the tour to a triumphant, meaningful end. Banned from taking pics of the Presidential Palace and being bared entry from any of the mansions owned by the Office of the President, it is climactic, redemptive that the graceful folks of a former Legarda residence allow people to tour and actually EXPERIENCE the genteel life of pre-war San Miguel through La Cocina de Tita Moning.

Spanish VI class of my former profesora, la Sra. Heide in La Cocina's sala

Spanish VI class of my former profesora, la Sra. Heide in La Cocina’s sala

DFA personnel being toured around La Cocina

DFA personnel being toured around La Cocina

Spanish VI class of Sre. Heide at the steps of the entrance to La Cocina

Spanish VI class of Sre. Heide at the steps of the entrance to La Cocina

Our Amdocs consultant and friend Hagit Sinai using her Spanish fan in La Cocina's sumptuous dining room

Our Amdocs consultant and friend Hagit Sinai using her Spanish fan in La Cocina’s sumptuous dining room

Tita Marissa Oca and her guests during merienda on a very rainy Sunday afternoon with Trining, a loyal La Cocina household staff since 1971

Tita Marissa Oca and her guests during merienda on a very rainy Sunday afternoon with Trining, a loyal La Cocina household staff since 1971

European friends of Alfred based in Singapore as graduate students posing in front of La Cocina de Tita Moning

European friends of Alfred based in Singapore as graduate students posing in front of La Cocina de Tita Moning

My high school friend Jun, his Ate Arlene and their Italian friend based in Shanghai, China, Federico being briefed by the ever-friendly and helpful Amber of the La Cocina de Tita Moning staff

My high school friend Jun, his Ate Arlene and their Italian friend based in Shanghai, China, Federico being briefed by the ever-friendly and helpful Amber of the La Cocina de Tita Moning staff

On 7 December, marking my first year, I am again hosting another tour of what was once the Philippines’ “millionaires’ district”, a genteel suburb of summer mansions, an abbey and a beer brewery. I invite you all to come, join and bring your friends and loved-ones for this Holiday trip!

The 7 December tour includes the following itinerary:

Meet-up at the LRT2 LEGARDA STATION (9:00 AM)
SAN SEBASTIAN CHURCH (part of Quiapo actually, not of San Miguel) (9:30 AM)
SAN BEDA ABBEY
(10:00 AM)
ST. JUDE’s CHURCH (10:30 AM)
MOSAICOS de MACHUCA Office (11:00 AM)
PASEO to MALACAÑANG PALACE, passing-by GOLDENBERG MANSION and TEUS MANSION (11:30 AM)
SAN MIGUEL PRO CATHEDRAL (12:00 NN)
LAPERAL MANSION (12:30 PM)
Tour, Merienda and Conclusion at LA COCINA de TITA MONING (1:00 PM)

Oficina de Mosaicos de Machuca

Oficina de Mosaicos de Machuca

Casa Roces, another restaurant in the area

Casa Roces, another restaurant in the area

The Laperal Mansion, which is unfortunately and foolishly unused and closed to the public

The Laperal Mansion, which is unfortunately and foolishly unused and closed to the public

The tour facilitator’s mobile number is 0917-4690717. Disclosure of budget will be done through this number.

Walking from Mendiola to San Miguel's innermost streets

Walking from Mendiola to San Miguel’s innermost streets

Friends at La Cocina's sala

Friends at La Cocina’s sala

Splendidly lit, the main apse of San Beda Abbey never fails to impress

Splendidly lit, the main apse of San Beda Abbey never fails to impress

Many, many thanks and see you all!

The tour guide, Joaquin de Jesus, an avid supporter of the cause of La Cocina de Tita Moning, a unique establishment that allows people to experience Pre-War Manila's lifestyle

The tour guide, Joaquin de Jesus, an avid supporter of the cause of La Cocina de Tita Moning, a unique establishment that allows people to experience Pre-War Manila’s lifestyle

For more on San Miguel de Manila, read my article on Kamusta? Magazine [http://www.kamustamagazine.ph/san-miguel-de-manila-arrabal-de-una-abadia-buenas-familias-y-cerveza/]

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About hechoayer

Things made yesterday still influence us until today. Things made today will influence us tomorrow. Things of the essence such as faith, culture, food, music and values should never disappear nor eroded by the times. Instead, these must be recorded, lived and shared. Such are things hecho ayer - made yesterday.
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3 Responses to San Miguel de Manila Walking Tour: 7 DECEMBER 2013

  1. geanu says:

    When I visit Manila, I will surely make time to attend Joaquin’s tour of San Miguel!

  2. Pingback: La Cocina de Tita Moning: la cocina de cada abuela | Cuchara Tenedor

  3. Pingback: Back-to-Back Tours This Weekend | Culture Shock PH

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